The HTC Vive has one of the clearest displays available in today's consumer VR systems, sporting a 2160x1200 resolution (or 1080x1200 per eye). While this provides a mostly clear image in most scenarios, the output of the headset still has a long way to go before matching the clarity of the human eye.
However, provided you have a powerful graphics card which surpasses the minimum requirements for the HTC Vive, a quick tweak can drastically bump the quality of your headset's display. Known as supersampling, this feature renders the image at a higher resolution than the headset's display, producing a much clearer image overall.
While supersampling was previously achievable by manually editing SteamVR directories of third-party applications, the functionality to adjust your sampling was officially added to SteamVR in a post-launch update. Here's how to uncover the setting within the desktop application and achieve the best results with your hardware.
- Open the SteamVR desktop client.
- Expand the SteamVR drop-down menu.
- Select Settings.
- Switch to the Developer tab.
- Find the section titled Supersampling.
- Move the slider to the right to increase the rendered resolution, or move the slider left to decrease the rendered resolution. The value of the slider indicates the supersampling multiplier, with 1.0 representing the default rendering resolution. However, to ensure a consistent framerate, we recommend experimenting with various multipliers to find the value best suited for your setup.
While supersampling will produce overall sharper images, increasing the resolution may introduce new graphical issues not frequently experienced with the headset. By raising the resolution above HTC's recommended value, you may experience general instability, frame rate drops, and unwanted on-screen artifacts. Even when using one of NVIDIA's latest cards, the GTX 1080, we struggled to raise the sampling above a 2.5 multiplier.
Have you used supersampling? Impressed by the results? Make sure to let us know in the comments!
Updated September 1, 2017: With official support for supersampling having being implemented into SteamVR, we've updated this guide with the steps for the newest process.
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